Is it just me or has there been lots of chatter about doing a ‘digital detox’ lately?

I mean, I totally get it. You shouldn’t be on your phone all the time and somehow the hours just slip by with the allure of social media. However…

There are also some really positive perks of social media that shouldn’t be forgotten!

I find detoxing from social media and the digital world common sense stuff really. For example, my phone goes away at dinner time, I don’t instagram every smoothie I make (haha!) and when I go out on date night I like to leave my phone at home. I also find having your phone out during an intimate conversation with a friend a bit rude, so I make a conscious effort to always be present during moments of my relationships with friends and family.

However social media has so many positive attributes and it’s important to not disregard its importance and value completely. Social media inspires us! Social media has allowed stay-at-home Mum’s to start home grown businesses! Social media has connected people with chronic illness and helped them feel less alone!

So let’s talk about my favourite aspects of the digital age…

CONNECTION & SUPPORT

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a support group inbuilt with their family or work life. For people who struggle to relate or acquire empathy about a particular circumstance (like isolation or illness) social media groups and communities on Instagram and Facebook can be a lifesaver!

If you’re a stay-at-home Mum or a solo entrepreneur, sometimes you need to bounce ideas and gather advice about something. Joining communities via social media channels can bridge this gap and make the experience of parenting or running your own small business (or both!) less lonely.

You can find a support group for just about any passion, situation, illness, life circumstance, hobby or interest! It’s a really great way to find and connect with like-minded individuals and sometimes even arrange real life catch ups!

EXPRESSION

Especially with Instagram, social media allows you to express yourself! I love seeing the style and vibe of my students social media accounts. Some of their accounts are simply filled with smiling faces and fun experiences whilst others are highly curated with colour palettes and aesthetic co-ordination which just blows me away!

If you like cooking, you can express yourself by sharing your recipes. If you enjoy braiding hair, you can start an account with pictures of all the different braids you’ve done. If you love sunsets, you can share every sunset for 365 days and watch your beautiful account come to life!

My expressive account is the @balancedballerinas one with every second post being a colourful quote! I love the way the tiling looks when you look at the entire profile!

PASSION PROJECTS

Do you have a mission or cause that’s close to your heart? Social media is a fantastic avenue for spreading the word and helping your cause. When I decided to travel to the slums of Africa to teach ballet and bring dancewear donations, social media was a fantastic tool for collecting donations within my dance community.

By sharing your passion project, you’re also inspiring others to take similar courses of action! Imagine if everyone in the world performed at least one inspiring passion project in their life? The world would be a pretty amazing place.

EDUCATION

Social media can be incredibly educational. I get many tips, tricks and hacks from short instagram videos that can be as simple as ‘How to peel an apple better!’ to ‘The benefits of reducing your plastic usage!’

If you’re passionate about something or an expert in your field, you can also create this content which will enrich other peoples lives and inspire your continued work.

MOTIVATION

Sometimes I really don’t feel like going to the gym. Or eating healthy. Or doing my 10 minutes of daily meditation. See, I’m human too! Ha! Lucky I follow accounts that inspire me to continue my wellbeing journey and make healthy decisions.

I’m also a big fan of sharing your journey and holding yourself accountable through the pressure of making your goals public. For example, if you haven’t been feeling like going to ballet lately due to work or school stress – but you know it’s good for you and you feel 1000% better afterwards! How about you make a public promise to yourself with a cute photo of you in your ballet attire to attend at least one ballet class every week for the next 6 weeks? Then when you’re at class every week, pop it on your stories and let your followers know you’re holding yourself accountable by showing up? Fantastic way to make your goals more fun and possibly inspire others along the way!

If you come across a ‘troll’ or ‘keyboard warrior’…

Ever since putting myself and the Balanced Ballerinas message out there, I’ve opened myself up to criticism from trolls and keyboard warriors. To be honest, it rarely happens. But when it does, it hurts.

Things that have been said are, ‘You don’t have a ballerina body…’ or ‘Who are you to give advice?!’ and sometimes it’s just a blanket, ‘You suck!’

But this is the thing ballerinas… now I want you to listen to this really closely. Not a single person who criticises you is doing better than you. NOT A SINGLE PERSON WHO CRITICISES YOU IS DOING BETTER THAN YOU. The people that have the time, energy and foul personality to criticise what you’re doing are unhappy in THEIR OWN LIVES. It’s got nothing to do with you. Remember this.

So the best piece of advice I can offer you? Ignore them. I know it can be hard sometimes, but you’re honestly better off ignoring them. UNLESS you have a very passionate and well thought out response that doesn’t stoop to their level. A perfect example of someone standing up for themselves gracefully is the incredible @MistyOnPointe

Tips

  • Who inspires you? Go check out who THEY follow on instagram!
  • Make a rule that suits you. Eg. No social media after dinner time
  • Don’t follow anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself.
  • Post what makes YOU happy. Not what you think will get the most likes.
  • Monitor your thoughts and feelings when reacting to other peoples posts.